cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngKenya: Stop the Repression against Students!

For mass protests on the streets in defense of democratic rights!

 

Joint Statement of the Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter, the Economic Liberation Association (Zambia) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 04.08.2017

 

 

 

The reactionary and pro-imperialist regime of President Uhuru Kenyatta is trying to hold power by any means necessary. After a series of protests and clashes of students with special police, it closed the University of Nairobi, Kenya’s largest and oldest university, on 3 October. As a result the government is forcing 84,000 students to leave.

 

The background of this recent escalation is the accelerating repression of Kenyatta’s government against its opponents before the re-run of the presidential election. The Supreme Court enforced such a repetition of this election, initially hold on 8 August, because it was severely rigged by the government.

 

One of the governments’ prime targets in this campaign is Babu Owino, a Member of Parliament and supporter of the main opposition force National Super Alliance led by Raila Odinga – Kenyatta’s opponent at the presidential election. Owino is a young agitator, a former student leader and highly popular amongst the youth. He has provoked the hatred of the state apparatus by fierce speeches against the regime, including famously calling Kenyatta a “mtoto wa mbwa” (son of a dog) who will be removed by the people like other African dictators such as Gbagbo of Ivory Coast and Gaddafi of Libya. As a result he has been repeatedly arrested by the regime. When the university students came out in defense of Owino, the government decided to close the university.

 

We denounce the regime of Uhuru Kenyatta who belongs to one of the richest families in Africa and has a long record of collaboration with the imperialist great powers. The President is a darling both of the Western imperialist powers as well as of Chinese imperialism. He slavishly implements the austerity program dictated by the International Monetary Fund. Likewise the government sent troops to participate in the AMISOM mission which is responsible for the pro-imperialist military occupation of Somalia.

 

Naturally, socialists and anti-imperialists have no illusions in Odinga’s National Super Alliance which is a bourgeois force. Its program can be characterized as liberal and social democratic. A government led by Odinga would continue to administer the imperialist super-exploitation and capitalist oppression of the popular masses of Kenya.

 

We demand an immediate end to the repression against the university students! We protest against the arrest of oppositional figures like Babu Owino! We support mass protests on the streets in defense of democratic rights.

 

The only solution for Kenya’s and Africa’s burden of exploitation and oppression is the expulsion of all great powers, the expropriation of the big corporations and the super-rich elite as well as the abolition of capitalism.

 

Long live a free and socialist Kenya! Long live the United Socialist States of Africa!

 

 

 

Pan African Movement – Kenyan Chapter

 

Economic Liberation Association (Zambia), http://www.elazambia.org

 

Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, México, Venezuela, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Germany, Britain and Austria), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBrazil: Under the permanent Shadow of a Military Coup

Prepare a General Strike against the Threats by the Army Command! Down with the Army’s Constitutional Right to Intervene!

 

Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (CCR, Brazil Section of the RCIT), 27 September 2017, http://elmundosocialista.blogspot.com

 

 

 

On September 15, in a lecture held on Friday night at the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge in Brasilia, the army general Antonio Hamilton Martins Mourão repeated three times on the possibility of military intervention in the face of the crisis faced by the country if the situation is not resolved by the institutions themselves. The general’s address was an answer to the following question from one of the listeners: “The Federal Constitution of 1988 admits a constitutional intervention with the use of the Armed Forces. The Executive and Legislative Powers are rotten, full of corruption. Is not this the moment for this intervention? ”

 

Among other things, what drew attention to General Mourão’s response were the following statements: “It is obvious that when we look with dread and sadness at the facts that are surrounding us … why are not we going to knock this whole thing down ? (…) until there comes a time when either the institutions solve the political problem by the action of the Judiciary, removing from public life those elements involved in all the illicits, or we have to impose it, “and added one more important information: We have already prepared very well done plans!(for intervention). So, in the present moment, what do we envision? That the ruling powers will have to seek the solution. If they could not, the time will come when we will have to impose a solution!

 

Facing the repercussions of the incident, the Defense Minister of govern Temer, Raul Jungmann, summoned Army commander General Eduardo Villas Bôas to ask him for explanations regarding the military’s statements while urging that “measures be taken “. However, Villas Bôas stated that General Antonio Mourão will not be punished, and by emphasizing that the possibility of an intervention “occurs permanently” and that “the Armed Forces have mandated to make [a military intervention] in the imminence of chaos“. In fact, the Brazilian constitution approved in 1988, has an article that allows the Armed Forces to intervene if, in their opinion, what is called “chaos” occurs.

 

The (non) reaction of the parties and social movements

 

Such a declaration by General Mourão suggesting a new military coup should make all parties and social movements to react to the situation. They should already begin making intense mobilization against any military intervention and organization in the workplaces and neighborhoods.

 

But the reaction of the legalized left parties such as the PT, PCdoB, PSOL were extremely bureaucratic, asking for explanations from Temer’s putchist government and demanding respect for the laws in the name of democracy. The websites of the CUT and the MST do not makes any comment on the subject.

 

The PSTU contradictorily states that there is no danger of coup “because US imperialism does not want it“, so they don’t feel it is necessary to alert and mobilize the population. Instead, the PSTU says that “If there is a military coup, a general strike is necessary!” Obviously, they are foolish to ignore the fact that, first, mass resistance against a military coup must be organized before such a coup in order to prevent it. It might well be too late to organize such a general strike after such a coup because the military will be than in a favorable position to suppress it. Secondly, such a general strike can not be organized out of the blue but needs sufficient time and prior organization.

 

A rare, and positive, exception is the Partido de Causa Operária-PCO, which calls on all organizations to at least alert the population to organized resistance.

 

The position of CCR

 

There is a part of the workers who support this speech for the return of the military, instilled by the intense criminalization of politics by much of the media and right-wing organized groups. Anti-communism and hatred of the parties and leftist movement has resurfaced with great force in the last four years. The institutional coup against the government of Dilma Roussef-PT, with the endorsement of US imperialism, put the most reactionary and conservative forces in power. The so-called structural reforms (labor, outsourcing, social security, etc.) are being practiced with little or no resistance from social movements. The leadership of the mass movement organized, instead of calling for an indefinite general strike against such reforms, only one or two alternate days of general strike, which did not change the intensity of the attacks.

 

It is by no means fixed if there is a military coup. The ruling class will not make such a decision light-mindedly given the risks involved in such a maneuver. But the mere threat of the return of the military should make us all alert.

 

It is urgent to mobilize and to create workers’ and popular committees at workplaces, in factories, in neighborhoods to organize the resistance. Such committees should immediately begin to organize the struggle against the reactionary reforms – on the streets with mass mobilizations, with general strikes, etc. In order to be able to defend the masses against the inevitable repression by the regime it is crucial to organize self-defense units.

 

Finally, the military threats demonstrate once more the reactionary character of the army’s constitutional right to intervene in domestic politics. This clause in the constitution allows for such coups. The working class and the popular masses must fight against this and enforce the congregation of a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly. Delegates of such a body should be controllable by those who elected them and should be open to recall by their constituents. It must not be controlled by the ruling class which would only manipulate it in its interests but instead it should be convened and protected by workers’ and popular militias against any intimidation of reactionary forces. The task of such an assembly should be to work out a new constitution. Revolutionaries would advocate a consistent democratic, socialist constitution in such an assembly.

 

* For the creation of committees of action in factories, unions, neighborhoods, favelas and peripheral regions in defense of our rights and against the putchist government and against any military intervention! For the creation committees of self-defense of the workers and poor in the neighborhoods and peripheries!

 

* For the cancellation of the Pension and Labor Reform, privatizations and outsourcing!

 

* Down with the army’s constitutional right to intervene in domestic politics! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!

 

* For a revolutionary workers’ party – a new world party of the socialist revolution! The Fifth International

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngCatalonia after the Referendum: Forward to Independence!

 

 

The national and democratic popular uprising of the 1st October demonstrates the support of the Catalan people for Independence! Move on to independence! Prepare the resistance against the repression forces of the Spanish state! Join the general strike on 3 October and transform it into an indefinite political general strike to support the struggle for independence! Build self-defense units in order to fight back the repression! Join arms with the Basque people and the Spanish working class! The perspective must be that of creation of an independent Workers Republic of Catalonia!

 

Emergency Statement by the International Secretariat of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 02.10.2017 (10:00 GTM), www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. The people in Catalonia participated in the referendum with incredibly impressive mobilizations on the streets. Despite the massive and brutal intervention of the police forces mobilized by the Spanish state, including the paramilitary units of the Guardia Civil, three million people were on the streets fighting for their democratic right to hold the referendum. And they succeeded. 42.34% of all eligible voters got their votes counted despite the police repression and of them 89.29% voted “” (Yes) for independence. The Catalan government stated that at least 777.000 votes were lost as the repression apparatus confiscated full ballot boxes and shut down approximately 400 schools who served as polling stations. Based on this number it would mean that 57.3% of all eligible voters tried to participate despite of the brutality of the police forces. It is most likely that the participation would have been even higher as many people were not able or willing to risk physical confrontations with the repression apparatus in order to vote. However, based on the outcome of the referendum an additional number of 777.000 votes would mean that 51.2% of all eligible voters were in favor of independence.

 

  1. The Catalan people didn’t only hold a successful referendum on the 1st October in Barcelona, Girona and all other parts of Catalonia. They made history! Three million people chanted that day “No tinc por!” (I’m not afraid!), “Votarem!” (We will vote!) and finally “Hem votat” (We voted!). They heroically resisted the rubber guns and batons of approximately 12,000 officers who injured at least 844 people, some of them way older than 65 years. More than three million people resisted against the police violence unarmed and mostly with their hands up. In addition there were solidarity protests in various other parts of Spain. In Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia, demonstrations with 3,000 people (approx. 3% of the total population) took place. However, one of the largest demonstrations in solidarity with the Catalan people took place in Bilbao, the biggest city of the Basque province. More than 40,000 people (approx. 12% of the citizens) were demonstrating in Bilbao showing their solidarity with the Catalan independence movement. This was a national and democratic popular uprising! This event confirms the RCIT’s call, in recently published statements, that all progressive forces need to mobilize for the referendum and vote for the !

 

  1. In the evening of the 1st October, the Spanish state reacted to the successful referendum in a bizarre way. At a press conference of the PM Mariano Rajoy declared: “Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. The rule of law remains in force with all its strength. We are the government of Spain (…). And we have shown that our democratic state has the resources to defend itself from an attack as serious as the one that was perpetrated with this illegal referendum. Today, democracy has prevailed because we have obeyed the constitution. ” Such a rejection of the reality is no surprise as the Spanish state is both arrogant and highly aggressive towards the Catalan independence movement. However, the people of Catalonia remain unimpressed by this. It is symbolic that voters and activists at the Escola Industrial laughed the Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saez de Santamaria out of court, chanting “Votarem, votarem!” after she had commented on the referendum that day: “Continuing this farce makes no sense, this does not lead anywhere, they should stop it immediately!

 

  1. Any illusion in the so-called “Western Democracy” is misplaced, especially in the current situation, irrespective of the criticism on the repressive behavior of the Spanish state which has been expressed by several European politicians. Let us not forget that the spokesperson of the German government Steffen Seibert announced at a press conference a few days ago: “We’re convinced it’s important that with everything that’s happening at the moment, to maintain the rule of law, both with regard to EU treaties and with regard to national law, i.e. the Spanish constitution.“ Unsurprisingly, at another press conference which was given by US President Donald Trump together with Spanish PM Rajoy seven days ago, Trump stated that the Catalonian people “love their country” and that they “would not want to leave Spain”. Beside of the fact that Donald Trump, the Psychic is as incompetent as Donald Trump, the President it reflects how the self-proclaimed guardians of democracy in the United States as well as the European Union deal with authentic democratic mobilizations.

 

  1. The imperialist EU might even support the repression apparatus of the Spanish state in near future in order to prevent the separation of Catalonia. An independent Catalonia might otherwise become a role model for other independence movements in Spain like the Basque people and other discriminated people in Europe. Obviously, this would be a nightmare for the EU. Successful separations would weaken the imperialist project of the EU. It is therefore important to be aware of the potential danger coming from the imperialist EU during the independence process of Catalonia. The European workers movement needs to consistently support the independence movement of the Catalan people (likewise also the Basque people). The Spanish and the European labor movement need to organize a large solidarity campaign including mass mobilizations now. In case of an acceleration of the conflict between the Catalan people and the Spanish (and EU) repression apparatus, the Spanish and the European labor movement should send solidarity delegations to help the Catalan people to organize themselves in self-defense units. In case of the Spanish state preparing a coup d’état in Catalonia, such self-defense units need to be turned into armed militias of the workers and oppressed which should be supported by the Spanish and the European labor movement.

 

  1. The RCIT has supported not only the right to hold the Catalan referendum. We also called to vote at the referendum in favor of independence. The national and democratic popular uprising by the Catalan people on 1 October as well as the concrete outcome of the referendum prove us right. The discrimination of Catalonia by the Spanish state is obvious. The proletarian stronghold Catalonia demanding self-determination today and also in its whole history should motivate all authentic revolutionaries to support the independence movement. However, those organizations and activists of the labor movement, who oppose Catalonia’s independence justify their positions by emphasizing the necessity of unity of Spain’s working class. But as a CUP representative correctly stated: “The working class of Madrid and the working class of Barcelona are united not because they are both Spanish, but rather, because they are both working class.“ The unity of the working class in Spain can only be established by full equality and democracy and this includes the defense of the right of the Catalan and likewise the Basque people to become independent from the Spanish state. Authentic revolutionaries should not argue against the more than understandable attempt of a discriminated people to become independent of the imperialist Spanish state. We rather unconditionally support the independence and combine it with the slogan of the Workers Republic of Catalonia (as well as the Workers Republic of the Basque country)!

 

  1. The Catalan government wants to implement the independence in the next days via decisions of the regional bourgeois parliament. We have seen the Spanish state being already furious just because of the referendum. It is easy to imagine what they will do to stop the Catalan government to declare independence. In this situation it is clear what authentic revolutionaries need to do. The support of the independence of the Catalan people includes defending all activists and even the capitalist Catalan government against the repression apparatus of the Spanish state. However, we warn the workers and oppressed in Catalonia that they should not have illusions in the Catalan government. The capitalist politicians of Catalonia hope that they can turn the province into a small but still strong imperialist country. Their agenda is to have a better position as rulers and exploiters inside of the imperialist European Union. We defend them against the aggressions of the Spanish repression apparatus but we don’t have any trust in them. It is therefore highly important to maintain class independence of the workers and oppressed. Our method to implement the independence of Catalonia as it was decided by the legitimate “referendum 1-O” (as it has been called in the Catalan media) is not to have bourgeois negotiations with the imperialists of Spain and the EU. We rather call to organize an indefinite general strike in Catalonia and mass actions of the workers and oppressed in the rest of Spain. The already announced general strike on 3 October should be used as a starting point for such a movement! Such a political general strike must be the prologue of an armed uprising of the workers and oppressed, a socialist revolution in order to create a Workers Republic of Catalonia.

 

  1. A political general strike as well as a massive solidarity movement will undoubtedly provoke the Spanish state to mobilize all its forces in order to smash such a proletarian movement. Likewise, the capitalist politicians of Catalonia will react in panic to such mobilizations as they would correctly understand that they are losing control over the situation. They will put all energy into pacifying the labor movement and bribing of the bureaucrats of the trade unions and other workers organizations. The workers and oppressed of Catalonia as well as the rest of Spain need to fight on all fronts. This means to organize self-defense units of the workers and oppressed that can be turned into armed militias in order to defend the Catalan people against the police, against the paramilitary Guardia Civil as well as against the whole military apparatus of the Spanish state. At the same time the workers need to challenge the bureaucratic leadership of the trade unions and of the other organs of the labor movement. The reformist bureaucrats are open for bribery by the Catalan capitalists and the Spanish state. The official leadership needs to be controlled by the rank and file workers which must include their right to expel those who are betraying us. Workers assemblies need to be organized to democratically discuss and decide on the indefinite general strike. Strike committees need to be created in the workplaces and schools in order to prepare and to implement a political strike. All decisions need to be made and all functionaries need to be elected and removed democratically at any time by the workers assemblies, respectively the strike committees.

 

  1. The independence movement in Catalonia is strongly influenced by pacifist ideas of passive resistance. This has not hindered the Spanish state to mobilize its repression apparatus in order to attack hundred thousands of people. The strike action of the dockers in Barcelona and Tarragona reduced the number of forces of the Guardia Civil available for deployment because it made it impossible for thousands of armed officers to reach Catalonia in time. In case of future mobilizations of the repression apparatus by the Spanish state, it is the task of the workers of the transportation sector in whole Spain to boycott likewise any intervention for the repression forces. In addition, the workers and oppressed in whole Spain need to block the streets and all routes so that they obstruct the mobilization of the repression apparatus. This will probably provoke the Guardia Civil and all other repression forces to attack the solidarity movement brutally. The current struggle of the Catalan people has already inspired the Basque people to renew their struggle for independence and will continue to do so. Such a process will also provoke a violent reaction of the Spanish state. In other words, all steps that need to be taken in order to really implement the independence of Catalonia as well as the independence of the Basque country will unavoidably lead to militant confrontations with the repression apparatus. The working class and the oppressed need to prepare for this otherwise the independence movements will be smashed. The workers and oppressed in Spain suffered for decades under the Franco dictatorship. It would not be a surprise if the current constitutional monarchy of Spain which arose out of the Franco regime, is willing to implement a dictatorship in Catalonia (and probably also in Basque country). It is life-threatening to underestimate the imperialist Spanish state and it shows how dangerous the current pacifist illusions are in reality. The only perspective for the independence movement is Socialism or Dictatorship.

 

  1. The RCIT calls all authentic revolutionaries in Catalonia as well as in Spain to join forces in order to prepare for the upcoming developments. Class independence of the workers and oppressed is highly important. It is time to organize an indefinite general strike in Catalonia to ensure the creation of the independent Catalan state. Such a state should be a Workers Republic of Catalonia as part of a future federation of the United Socialist States of Europe. All authentic revolutionaries need to unite in order to build a Revolutionary Workers Party as part of a future Revolutionary World Party which can lead through the struggle. However, all authentic revolutionaries need also to collaborate in united fronts’ with existing mass organizations of the workers and oppressed. The wrong leaderships of the reformist and centrist organizations and parties need to be challenged by authentic revolutionaries without being sectarian towards the workers and oppressed at the basis. Only a consistent revolutionary program and the ability to merge with the masses of the workers and oppressed empowers authentic revolutionaries to fulfill their historic task.

 

All power to the workers and oppressed in Catalonia! Forward in the struggle for an independent Workers Republic of Catalonia! All authentic revolutionaries – fight together with the RCIT for the building of a Revolutionary Workers Party in Catalonia, in the Basque country and in Spain!

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

For the RCIT’s analysis of Catalonia’s struggle for independence, we refer readers to our recently published articles and documents:

 

RCIT: Catalonia: Support the Democratic Right for Independence! For an independent Workers’ Republic of Catalonia (and the Basque country)! 26.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/support-catalonias-independence/

 

RCIT: Catalonia: For the Immediate Release of All Arrested Officials! Stop the Criminalization of the Independence Referendum and its Supporters! Participate at the referendum and vote “Yes” for independence! Organize immediate self-defense units! 21 Sept 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/repression-against-catalonia/

 

Almedina Gunić: Catalonia: This is what Democracy looks like. The Spanish ambassador in Britain explains bourgeois democracy, 23 September 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/spanish-state-in-catalonia-this-is-what-democracy-looks-like/

 

Manfred Maier: 1 October 2017: Big Decision for Catalonia. Statement on the referendum on the independence of Catalonia, 21.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/big-decision-for-catalonia/

 

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngCatalonia: This is what Democracy looks like

The Spanish ambassador in Britain explains bourgeois democracy

 

A Commentary by Almedina Gunić, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 23 September 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

Note of the Editorial Board: The following comment refers to a letter of the Spanish ambassador in Britain on the planned referendum in Catalonia on the issue of independence. This letter can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/22/puigdemonts-accusations-about-spain-are-simply-untrue.

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

A referendum on the question of independence is planned for October 1 in Catalonia which led to a massive mobilization of all forces by the Spanish government including its police and the civil guard. Since the Catalan parliament decided to organize the referendum the furious imperialist regime in Spain tries to threaten the supporters of independence with prosecution. The repression apparatus of Spain arrested even 14 officials of Catalonia but was forced to release them after nationwide protests took place.

 

However, the Spanish ambassador of Britain, Carlos Bastarreche, wrote a letter to the British newspaper “The Guardian” defending the Spanish state’s oppressive behavior as an authentic, and therefore legitimate, part of bourgeois democracy. The letter is of interest for us as class-conscious workers as it is a perfect example for the hypocrisy of the so-called democracy in Europe. It therefore makes sense to read it carefully and to learn from it.

 

Carlos Bastarreche defended the massive violations of democratic rights by the repression apparatus with the de facto argument that a bourgeois democracy has the right to mobilize its police against the will of the people. “It was a judge in Barcelona who ordered the police operation,” he explains and adds “More over the judge has the backing of the constitutional court.

 

What a perfect example for the logic of the capitalist class! There exists the formal division between legislative and executive forces and therefore it is perfectly fine to aim the smashing of a democratic movement of millions of people!

 

Further, Bastarreche explains that the Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) is a natural part of the Spanish police and rejects the characterization of them as paramilitary forces. Any link to the military is not mentioned so that the reader should believe that the civil guard is really just regular police force as he claims. In reality and by its own definition the Guardia Civil is indeed a military force with police duties. Here is how the FIEP (Association of European and Mediterranean gendarmeries and police forces with military status) describe the character of the Guardia Civil: “On the other hand, and under the authority of the Ministry of Defence, it conducts missions of military nature abroad and, as civilian police force, it also takes part in other missions carried out abroad by international bodies. Apart from that, they have deployed attachés and liaison officers in different embassies all over the world.”

 

Imagine poor Bastarreche trying to find excuses and explanations with so little success, that he needs to make up lies about the simplest true every child in Spain knows! If this statement were not so foolishly stupid, one could almost have pity on him.

 

What a dialogue means for the Spanish state

 

“The government has attempted and is still offering dialogue”, the Spanish ambassador claims further. This assertion is quite interesting as the Spanish government claimed in September that they had not received an open letter by the Catalan government. The latter explained that they had indeed send the letter including the invitation for “political dialogue, based on the legitimacy we all have, to make possible something that in a democracy is never a problem and even less a crime: listening to the voice of the people”. We are not talking here about a greeting card on Christmas that may get lost! We are rather talking about a highly official document circulating between the Catalan government and the Spanish regime.

 

Whatever the truth is about the “lost” letter, it was the Spanish MP Mariano Rajoy who made clear in 2015 (and ever since): “I am ready to listen and to talk, but not in any way to liquidate the law (…) I am not going to talk about either the unity of Spain, or sovereignty.” Well, than what was Rajoy thinking the discussion will be about? What kind of dialogue one has to ask Bastarreche, is offered by the Spanish state? Maybe it is an invitation to a kid’s tea party but obviously not a serious dialogue about the demands of the independence movement.

 

Furthermore it is hard to believe that any real dialogue is possible given the extreme repressive behaviour of the Spanish state. Just two weeks ago, Rajoy said clearly: “There won’t be a self-determination referendum. I will do whatever is needed, without relinquishing anything, to prevent it.” As long as the law is a law of the oppressors it is implemented by the repression apparatus by all means including full force of violence against our class and all oppressed. The capitalist politicians are only “pacifist” if they are in a weak position but not if they have the full power to implement their interests.

 

No wonder that the capitalist government of Catalonia plays the role of appeasing the independence movement in order to prevent sharper clashes between the Catalan workers and oppressed and the Spanish state as it has a weaker position in the conflict. They want to utilize the just cause of the Catalan workers and oppressed but without heading towards a revolutionary situation which may cut off their heads as well. As the prime minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont wrote: “In spite of provocations, overactions, rumors, false slogans … we are calm and peaceful always. It is our great asset.”

 

The working class has showed one of its greatest assets: the Dockers in Barcelona and Tarragona voted to refuse service for those ships which accommodate more than 4000 members of the Guardia Civil sent by the central government in Madrid. The Dockers did so despite the fact that these two ports are under national, not regional, control. In addition the Catalan government who has the control over the port of Palamos claimed that the port’s services were committed. Rumors of a planned general strike action in order to make the referendum possible are looming since weeks.

 

It is therefore somehow funny that Bastarrache wrote in his letter to the Guardian: “Puigdemont says “all we want is to carry out the greatest expression of free democracy”, but his projected referendum – that will not take place – is rather the result of a process that repeals constitutional democracy and their own charter of self-government.” It is up to the workers and oppressed in Catalonia supported by all workers and oppressed in Spain to shatter all lies on the referendum not taking place. In the interest of the working class of Catalonia it has to consequently fight for a Workers Republic of Catalonia. Bastarrache on the other hand should keep writing letters. We need a good laugh once in a while.

 

 

 

http://www.fiep.org/member-forces/spanish-guardia-civil/

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34383386

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia/catalonia-asks-spain-for-dialogue-as-independence-struggle-intensifies-idUSKCN1BQ146

 

http://www.politico.eu/article/mariano-rajoy-on-catalonia-there-wont-be-a-referendum/

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/21/boats-spanish-military-police-blocked-catalan-ports-unrest-grows/

 

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.png1 October 2017: Big Decision for Catalonia

 

Statement on the referendum on the independence of Catalonia

 

Article by Manfred Maier (RCIT Germany), 21.09.2017, www.diekommunisten.net

 

 

 

On 1 October, the Catalan government will hold a referendum on the independence of Catalonia. As you walk through the streets of Barcelona you can see the Catalan colors, flags, etc. on windows and balconies. Hundreds of thousands of people supported the demand for independence on the streets of Barcelona on September 11; it was not the first demonstration of this kind in recent years. The more the Spanish central government curtails the autonomy of the Catalans, the more intense become the demands for independence in Catalonia.

 

The Spanish government is up in arms against the decision taken on 6 September by the Catalan Parliament. The Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the decision. In doing so, the Spanish Government is fully responsible for the deterioration of the situation, since it has provoked opposition with the refusal to negotiate or offer any concessions

 

The bourgeois press, including those published in Catalonia, largely repeats the government’s propaganda against the movement of independence. The EU is clearly opposed to the independence of  Catalonia and , therefore supports the Spanish central government.

 

There was also a massive interference by German corporations on the question of the independence of Catalonia. The leaders of the multinationals such as Volkswagen (VW / SEAT), BASF and other companies operating in Catalonia are openly threatening the independence movement with loss of production and job cuts.

 

The positions of the Catalan and Spanish political parties

 

We do not want to analyze the positions of all parties in detail, but we briefly mention the most important ones. The results of the elections to the Regional Parliament of Catalonia in September 2015 are in brackets.

 

– The PSOE and its Catalan offshoot PSC want the conversion of Spain into a federal state (12.72%). The PSC rejects the independence efforts of the Catalans while the PSOE is even offending the planned referendum as such.

 

– The Catalan UDC (Christian Democrats) is for a referendum and for the right of Catalonia to decide itself (2.51%).

 

Junts pel Sl, an alliance of CDC (Liberals), Catalan ERC (left) and other forces: for referendum and for independence (39.59%).

 

– The CUP, an anti-capitalist, Catalan party, is opposed to the EU status of Catalonia and demands an independent Catalan state (8.21%).

 

“Catalunya Sí que es Pot” (CSP) is an alliance consisting of the Catalan Podemos, Ecosocialists and the Catalan branch of the Izquierda Unida. The chairman of Podemos is in favor of the the referendum, but against independence. The Catalan leading candidate of the aalliance is however in favor of both (8.94%).

 

– The Catalan PP (Partido Popular) rejects the referendum and is against the independence (8.49%).

 

– The Ciutadans (neoliberal) is against the independence of Catalonia (17.9%).

 

Which Way Forward?

 

Based on the vivid tradition of class struggle, the extent of both the political organization and mobilization of the Catalans, and the popularity of their independence movement, we call for participation in the referendum and a vote in favor of Catalonia’s independence.

 

Our perspective for an independent Catalonia, however, is neither for a small capitalist nation state or EU membership similar to Spain.

 

The organizations of the working class must rather fight any chauvinism and advocate an Iberian Socialist Union within the United Socialist States of Europe. In such a socialist union, the Catalans (as well as the Basques) will have the full right to lead their own state free from any discrimination against other nations if they wish so.

 

The building of a revolutionary communist party in Catalonia, but also throughout Spain and in Euzkadi (Basque country) must be achieved. This is a central and indispensable task.

 

All organizations and activists who want to build such a party must join forces on the basis of a revolutionary program that includes:

 

Fight aagainst the EU austerity policy and, against the austerity programs in Catalonia. This austerity policy was supported and implemented by forces of the Catalan Parliament, including those who are now pro-independence.

 

– The government of an independent Catalonia must nationalizethe banks under the control of the workers; money transactions must be placed under control of the labor movement.

 

All big companies must be nationalized under workers control.

 

– The Guardia Civil and other police units must be dissolved and replaced by self-defense units of the workers and oppressed.

 

– The judiciary must be replaced by jury courts set up by the workers’ movement. The structures of the judiciary of the constitutive monarchy of Spain are deeply imbued with the influence of Francoism and the Spanish-Castilian central state, and cannot be adopted by an independent Catalonia.

 

– In Catalonia and the whole of Spain, a school system must be set up which makes it possible to learn the languages of the various ethnic groups of the country as well as all other languages of migrants on an equal and voluntary base.

 

– The state and the church must be rigorously separated from each other and all institutions of the monarchy must be abolished.

 

In a free, Catalan workers state asylum seekers, who fled because of war or economic need, will find a safe home. In the last few years in Barcelona alone, hundreds of thousands have demonstrated for the refugees’ right to stay. These were the largest pro-rrefugee demonstrations across Europe. The Spanish central government has also massively attacked this solidarity movement.

 

– After the declaration of independence, a constitutional assembly must be convened, where the most urgent questions about the further development of the independent state are discussed in open and democratic debates.

 

Revolutionary Communists advocate the construction of a workers state, allied with the oppressed of Spain.

 

A serious situation

 

If the referendum really takes place on 01.10. deciding on the independence of Catalonia, violent attacks by the Spanish central government are most likely. Thus the mayors, who support the referendum, are invited by the Constitutional Court of Madrid, as “witnesses” to the “Spanish constitution“. They are threatened with prosecution in case of support for the referendum.

 

The Spanish government will not be afraid to use the police and army against the polling stations of the referendum. The masses in Catalonia will have to answer that with the weapon of the political mass strike and powerful demonstrations, but will also have to defend their democratic referendum with armed defence guards. For the EU, the separation of Catalonia would be a disaster, so it will continue its support for the Spanish state against the Catalans by any means.

 

The Catalans who aspire for independence earn our full support!

 

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngIN FACE OF THE DISASTER AND THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, WE MUST GO FROM SPONTANEOUS SOLIDARITY TO THE ORGANIZATION AND MOBILIZATION OF THE MEXICAN PEOPLE!

Statement of Agrupación de Lucha Socialista (Mexican Section of the RCIT), 23 September, 2017, https://agrupaciondeluchasocialistablog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

September 19 has become a date of double mourning for the Mexicans as a result of the earthquakes and the ambition of the government and real estate companies. Thirty-two years after the earthquake of 1985, Mexico City-CDMX, now, along with Morelos, Puebla and Edomex tremble with a seism of 7.1 degrees, which so far resulted of 295 people deceased, the majority in the capital of the country, but also thousandsomes and buildings devastated in all affected states.

 

Although the earthquake this year was 10 times less strong than that of 1985 and caused less damage than the last one, it continues to show that we are not prepared in terms of infrastructure to withstand this type of disaster due, mainly, to the corruption of the authorities which allowed the buildings which were damaged in 1985 to be occupied again without restoration or this was done without complying with the norms. At present, we see how the corruption of civil servants of all levels increases, which, in collusion with the big real estate companies, builds with the people’s money works that endanger the population, such as Guardería ABC, the hole in the ground as it is in Paso Exprés de Cuernavaca and, now the Primaria Enrique Rebsamen.

 

The cynicism has reached such a point that the governor of Morelos, Graco Ramirez, stated in Jojutla that the people rescue phase was over and the debris removal and reconstruction phase has began, less than 24 hours after the earthquake! Surely they already have business dealings with the real estate companies – who are urged to collect insurance and leave no trace of their corruption. The head of government, M. Angel Mancera along with the federal government, is doing the same in the CDMX; in the third day of the earthquake has menaced to putting machinery for the removal of debris regardless of the statements of rescuers and relatives that there were still people under the ruins and that probably many of them were still alive. The federal government, instead of helping the victims, has only dedicated itself to repressing the solidarity of the people through the navy, the army and the local police to isolate the affected areas, to evict the volunteers, even by force, as they intended do it in the Obrera colony where a textile factory where women – mostly migrants – labored, but where the volunteers managed to stop the repressive forces and continue the rescue work. We called to resist reinforcing the guards, the disaster sites where police and other law enforcement bodies were trying to move to civilian volunteers and impose “order” by force and even put heavy machinery in places where there is still chances of finding people alive, or where it is necessary to remove the bodies, likewise, the places where they intend to demolish buildings without the consent of its inhabitants!

 

At Rebsamen School, the pressure from rescuers, volunteers and the general population also succeeded in getting the government to reverse the machines to continue the rescue work. However, in the colony Roma and other parts of the city, the government had already put its machines in front of the astonished eyes of relatives and friends of the victims trapped. It was a murderous act of these governments in cleaning the affected areas for the real estate companies that intend to raise their buildings on the bodies of the victims!

 

Together with the government, the television stations have had a deplorable role, first with calling the people to stay in the house in the day of the tremor, a kind of message that, fortunately, was not complied by the population and then, putting a show with the non-existent Frida little girl in the Rebsamen primary school to distract the population, and the media also has hidden the solidarity of the population and tried to rebuild the disastrous image of the government and its military forces. This did not manage to calm down the rage of the population against the officials of all levels who were not offering any support, or on the contrary, as is the case of the presidency of the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia del Estado de Morelos-DIF that retained the provision of solidarity that was to go towards the communities of the entity but the population was organized to rescue this essential goods provisions and to take control of its distribution!

 

In several places, volunteers and affected residents has expelled out the authorities when they only came to take the photos, like the Secretary of the Interior, Osorio Chong, in the Obrera colony, and the delegate of Xochimilco by MORENA, Avelino Méndez. In its voracious ambition, the government is provoking even more the anger of the people who, by itself, already distrust the government and its parties. Undoubtedly, the cynical performance of the rulers authorities and the parties are putting all the conditions so that the elections of 2018 occur in an atmosphere of high tension, instability and complete discredit to the regime and its institutions. People are asking that the money budgeted to the parties and electoral institutions for the campaigns is intended for the thousands of families of the victims, otherwise, the political cost will be high! Also ask the electoral campaigns that were canceled, since the citizenship has already known in its own flesh the action of each of the parties before this tragedy!

 

In short: what immediately revealed this disaster were two things: a) once again the enormous inability and disinterest of government institutions to deal with the disaster and b)the massive and solid solidarity of the population that had became millions of volunteers for the rescue, gathering and distribution of collection, most of these young enthusiasts who from the minutes after the earthquake and for 4 days, continue in the work of support. Exemplary and combative youth fighting for their people!

 

However, there is also a great disorganization and disinformation resulting mainly from the inefficiency and secrecy of the government and that even they have promoted themselves through false messages and the diversion or retention of support through Civil Protection in the municipal head offices. On the other hand, because there is no central local that centralizes information and organization for a better distribution of supporting the brigades according to the specific needs of each disaster area. In contrary to the case of Oaxaca where section 22 has played a fundamental role due to its moral weight and the strategic presence of the teachers that has allowed them a better attention of the earthquake of 7 of September. For example, there are places like the capital CDMX center that overflowed with aid and food; while other more remote areas or states such as Morelos and Puebla lack of support. The magnitude of the disaster requires us to move from spontaneous solidarity to organized and continuous support as reconstruction work will take weeks or months!

 

It is necessary to convene a General Coordination of Brigadistas and Settlers Affected of the metropolitan area that elaborates a general diagnosis by colony, municipality and affected state to detect the primordial necessities and distributes thus the specific brigades. It requires the formation of committees or neighborhood assemblies in the affected areas that participate in this diagnosis that administer food and resources for contingency and participate in the reconstruction of their communities.

 

In the middle of the disaster, the government intends to return to “normality” and is already calling for a return to class students from next Monday, 25 September, as well as many companies whose establishments have visible damage have irresponsibly forced their workers to back work in these buildings, under penalty of dismissal, violating clearly the minimum security conditions. Faced with this as Agrupación de Lucha Socialista we demand that there be no return to school until all schools at all levels have been reviewed by independent commissions of experts and the safety of school communities is guaranteed. Likewise, workers should form assemblies in their work centers to oppose the return of work until safety conditions are guaranteed in their work centers and to oppose unjustified dismissals for absenteeism!

 

Also, three years after the disappearance of the Ayotzinapa normalists, let us turn the mobilization of this September, 26, into a great protest for the humanitarian, social and economic disaster provoked by this neoliberal political-economic regime as well as the whole of its institutions and parties that have been overtaken and have shown signs of paralysis, ineptitude and shamelessness in face of the tragedy that shakes our country; extend the claim to the government!

 

* OUT WITH EPN AND INCOMPETENT GOVERNORS OF CDMX, MORELOS, EDOMEX AND PUEBLA AND ITS DELEGATES AND MUNICIPAL PRESIDENTS!

 

*JAIL ALL OFFICIALS, OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE COMPANIES AND CORRUPT BUILDING COMPANIES GUILTY OF THIS TRAGEDY!

 

*ALL CAMPAIGN MONEY TOWARDS REPAIRING THE DAMAGE AND COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION OF THEIR HOUSES TO ALL DAMAGED FAMILIES!

 

*FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A GOVERNMENT OF THE RURAL AND CITY WORKERS THAT TRULY ATTEND AND RESOLVE THE NEEDS OF THE MEXICAN PEOPLE!

 

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cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngCatalonia: Support the Democratic Right for Independence!

For an independent Workers’ Republic of Catalonia (and the Basque country)!

 

Statement of the European Bureau of the RCIT, 26.09.2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

  1. La Diada 2017, the celebrations of the Catalonian National Day, turned into an impressively large demonstration with up to one million people taking to the streets of Barcelona to display their desire for independence. It is not the first time that these celebrations, which take place annually on September 11, have been used to protest and demand the right for self-determination and the right to hold a referendum on this issue, like the one now planned for October 1. Five years ago, more than 1.5 million people took to the streets of Barcelona with the slogan “Catalunya, nou estat d’Europa!“ (“Catalonia, new state of Europe!“); a year later, in 2013, more than 350,000 volunteers registered to participate in the event Via Catalana cap a la Independència (Catalonian Way towards Independence) to support and mobilize for the 400 km long human chain which was formed by at least 1.6 million people. The RCIT fully supports the protests of the Catalonian people and their right for self-determination. To their demand for independence we reply: Yes, it is time for an independent Workers’ Republic of Catalonia (and the Basque Country)!

 

  1. The Spanish, imperialist state entirely rejects the aspirations for independence of the Catalonian people and is attempting by all means to suppress the plans to hold the referendum on October 1. This is nothing but the continuation of the long history of national oppression and discrimination of the Catalonian people by the reactionary Spanish state. The Catalonian people have a long tradition of struggle for independence against the Spanish oppressors. In the 8th century, the shires of Barcelona, Girona and others were united by Guifré el Pilós who led the Dynasty of the Earls of Barcelona. About 200 years later the Catalonian shires freed themselves from the seigniory of the West Franconian king. Later on, the Corona de Aragón was formed, a union of Aragonian kings leading the kingdoms of Mallorca, Sicily, Naples well as the duchies of Athens and Neopatras, the shires of Barcelona, the margrave of Provence and many others. During the French-Spanish War, the people of Aragón tried to gain their independence from the Bourbon ruler, Philipp V, without success and on the 11 September 1714 the besieged rebels of Barcelona capitulated. During subsequent years the Catalonians lost their self-governing bodies under the oppressive laws of Philipp V, the Decretos de Nueva Planta. Until today this historic defeat of Barcelona in 1714 is commemorated as the Catalonian National Day. However, Catalonia’s history of struggle for independence was and is still not over.

 

  1. In 1931 the Catalonians got the chance for a provisional autonomy by forming the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 1934, the reigning President of the Generalitat, Lluís Companys i Jover proclaimed the state of Catalonia, which triggered the arrest of the new Catalonian government by the Spanish army. All this happened while the revolutionary general strike in Asturia was going on, an heroic uprising of the workers, mainly miners, against the entrance into the Spanish State Cabinet of three ministers from the fascist Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA). While the proclaimed Catalonian government only lasted for ten hours, the heroic uprising of the Asturian workers persevered for 20 days before it was finally crushed by the Spanish army under the leadership of the future dictator, Francisco Franco. However, in 1936 the imprisoned Catalonian government was released by the popular front. Barcelona was a proletarian stronghold, playing a key role during summer of 1936 uprisings led mainly by the anarchistic forces, the Confederación Nacional de Trabajo (CNT) and the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI). Barcelona was also the site of a spontaneous worker uprising against the popular-front regime in May 1937. This mass protest was only supported by the Trotskyists and the “Friends of Durruti,” and was eventually crushed brutally by the Stalinists. With the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, which saw the final defeat of the working class militias by counterrevolutionary forces, the fascist, military dictatorship of Franco ruled Spain until his death in 1975. It was a bitter time, not only for the working class, but for all other segments of the Catalonian people as well. The dictatorship of Franco denied the existence of Catalonian nationality, and outlawed every aspect of Catalonian identity, including its language. It is mainly due to the Catalonian Diaspora that the Catalan language survived and is now spoken by at least 9 million people.

 

  1. Today, Spain as a constitutional monarchy which does not recognize the right of self-determination for the Catalonian or the Basque peoples. Neither do the reactionary former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, who was the chosen successor by the fascist dictator Franco himself, or his son, the reigning King Felipe VI, accept Catalonia’s call for a referendum. Instead, King Felipe VI and the Spanish government are threatening the Catalonian people and have declared that they will prevent the referendum. The Spanish state is planning criminal proceedings against the entire Catalonian government and all volunteers who support the preparations for the referendum. They are even considering mobilizing the Spanish army in the event of further developments towards Catalonian independence. Demonstrating how serious the threat is for the Catalonian people, armed police forces were mobilized to confiscate more than 100,000 leaflets printed for the independence campaign and several newspapers and printers have been threatened. The Catalonian newspaper El Vallenc was searched by police bearing an official search warrant. It has even become illegal for the bourgeois Catalonian press to write positively about the referendum, let alone call for it.

 

  1. Indeed, the independent Catalonia that is being campaigned for by the Together For Yes (JxSí) movement would involve huge troubles for the imperialistic Spanish state, which would be deprived of nearly 20% of its economic output and 16% of its population. Although Catalonia is indeed one of the wealthier parts of Spain, the gap in poverty levels between regions is not all that great. In Catalonia, the poverty rate is 19.2% compared to 22.3% for the rest of Spain. Last year’s official unemployment rate was 15.7% for Catalonia and 19.6% for the rest of the country. These figures are not surprising, as the main part of Catalonian economy is not tourism, as is often suggested, but rather industry. At least half of the Catalonian economy is based on industry, including the chemical, automotive, metallurgical and textile sectors as well as the agricultural-food and pharmaceutical industries. Furthermore, the region of Catalonia accounts for 23% of Spanish industry, while covering less than 7% of the Spain’s territory on the Iberian Peninsula. Even historically, Spain’s industrial working class was, until the 1950s, almost exclusively concentrated in Catalonia and the Basque country. Catalonia’s aspirations towards independence are not comparable to reactionary independence movements, like the Venetian nationalist movement, in which the extreme right-wing Liga Veneta–Lega Nord plays a key role. Quite the opposite is the case, as discrimination of the Catalonian people not only has a long history, but the struggle against it and for independence, now as in the past, also enjoy widespread popularity among the Catalonian working class and youth. This desire has been nurtured by the ongoing capitalist crisis which has brutally hit the working class throughout Spain. In addition, the Spanish state has provoked Catalonian resistance with its attempts in recent years to undermine the province’s existing autonomous rights. This is to say nothing about the current atmosphere of hysteria fomented by the Spanish state in light of the planned referendum. It is most likely that the Catalonians would not prefer cessation from Spain to such an extent as they do, if there were real autonomy for them people within the state. However, the increasing discrimination of the Catalonian people in recent years, as well as attacks on their autonomy by the Spanish state, have changed the sentiments of the Catalonian people, including its working class.

 

  1. The Statue of Autonomy for Catalonia was vastly reduced by the Spanish state in 2010, including the explicit refusal to recognize the people of Catalonia (or any other national minority, like the Basque people) as a nation within Spain. Protests of more than one million people demanding “Som una nació. Nosaltres decidim“ (“We are one nation. We decide.“) have taken place to oppose the resulting imposed limitations. Perhaps more significant consequences followed decisions, like new education legislation passed in 2013, which repealed the previous equality of both languages – Catalan and Spanish, in favor of priority for the latter. After Franco’s regime, it became and remains a major project of the Catalonian people to restore their ancestral native tongue, Catalan. The enmity of the Spanish state towards this more than understandable aspiration strengthens the Catalonian wish for independence. As a result, the current situation is extremely tense and it appears that the Spanish state is not even willing to offer various smaller concessions involving increased autonomy for Catalonia. More and more Catalonians have become critical of the Spanish state for its arrogance, including those who actually oppose independence from Spain. Even among the ranks of Catalonians who voted for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, 40% (compared to 82% of all Catalonian voters) are critical of the Spanish state’s behavior towards the demand for a referendum, a fact which is strengthening rather than weakening independence forces.

 

  1. The desire for Catalonian independence may even increase more after a comment by the German government’s spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, at a press conference in which he stressed that Germany and the European Union have no interest in a divided Spain. Seibert argued that existing law has to be maintained, meaning that Europe’s two major imperialist forces – Germany and the EU – oppose the ratification of the referendum by Catalonia’s local government. This statement came as no surprise, as Germany, one of the two leading countries forming the imperialist EU, has calculated the potential loss of Spain’s financial contribution to the union should Catalonia split from Spain. Furthermore, the imperialist project of the European Union, as an important competitor in economic, political, geo-strategic and military matters of the great imperialist powers (the US, Russia and China), is clearly threatened by the symbolism of such a referendum – in particular following the British decision on Brexit. A vote in favor of secession from the Spanish state by the Catalonians may encourage similar movements by the Basque people, the Flemish, the Scots and others. This is a nightmare scenario for the imperialists of the EU. In addition to many other problems that such a development would create, it would lead to increased tensions between the member states of the European Union, making it far more fragile than it already has become.

 

  1. It is the task of authentic Marxist revolutionaries to support the demands of oppressed and discriminated against nations from the depredations of imperialist forces. In the case of the referendum on Brexit, it was and is obvious that both positions – the “remain” position as well as that in support of Brexit – were merely two pro-imperialist camps fighting against one other. No one with a clear mind can argue that Britain is, in any way, oppressed or discriminated against by the European Union. (No wonder, then, that both right-wing chauvinists and Stalinists make such spurious arguments!) However, even in the unlikely scenario of the complete secession of Catalonia from Spain and its transformation into an independent Catalonian state having its own imperialistic character, the issue here is still not comparable to the referendum on Brexit, as the Catalonian people are demonstrably discriminated against by the Spanish state. Furthermore, even if such an unlikely scenario were to develop in the future, and Catalonia would become an independent imperialistic state, it would nonetheless be wrong for Marxist revolutionaries to reject the right to self-determination for the Catalonian people, including their right to secede from Spain at this point in time. As Marxists, it is our task to win the workers and oppressed over to the idea of internationalism and the rejection of all nationalist sentiments. As such, we consistently fight against the influence of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalist forces – including those within the Catalonian movement for independence. However, our struggle is not possible if we merely ruminate on internationalism instead of understand and respect the reasons that bring workers and oppressed of discriminated against nations to, in fact, mobilize under banners making nationalistic demands. Naturally, we prefer a unity of the working class and the oppressed that transcends borders and nations, and reject all separatist tendencies. However, we need to prove that not only do we oppose and truly despise all chauvinistic tendencies and sentiments against the Catalonian people, but that, as revolutionary communists, we will never discriminate against peoples and nations who justifiably seek the right of self determination. Towards this end we must support demands for national independence if they are as authentic and widespread, as they certainly are in the case of Catalonia. Therefore, even if it is far more likely that a majority of Catalonians will prefer unity with the other peoples of Spain and oppose secession, it remains incumbent upon authentic revolutionaries to fight for the right of self-determination for Catalonia, including independence today.

 

  1. The Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) – as is typical of social democrats – is against the holding of the planned referendum and uncategorically opposes the independence of Catalonia, as they attempt to send a message to the current regime about how useful they are for the imperialist Spanish state. Attacking the local government of Catalonia, the leader of the PSC (the Catalonian section of the PSOE) Miquel Iceta ranted:”Saying you want to negotiate while putting on all types of activities to carry out an illegal vote has no credibility.” In addition to the PSOE toadies, there is a joint platform of various forces that are now being accused of collaboration because of their respective positions on the referendum. Catalonia Yes We Can (CSQEP) is a parliamentary platform of Podem Catalunya and the Catalunya en Comú (a former electoral coalition that became a party last year, but now without its Barcelona branch) which has basically been split into three over the three possible options on the vote calling for a referendum: three MPs were in favor while its other eight MPs were divided between opposing the call for a referendum and abstaining from the vote deciding this matter.

 

  1. No less, there are even organizations with obviously conflicting positions within their own ranks. For example, Podem Catalunya favors participation in the referendum, but doesn’t see the necessity of making this position binding, while its affiliated all-Spain organization, Podemos, is calling for a day of protest on October 1 and non-participation in the referendum. Leaders of the Izquerda Unida refused to call for participation in the referendum, explaining that the option for a federal solution is missing from the question being posed to the voters, while its Catalonian correspondent, Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, supports the referendum as is, as it, according to them, reflects the will of the clear majority of the Catalonian people. However, the initiative “Communists For The Yes,” including activists from the Poble Lliure, Joventuts d’Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (the youth organisation of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) and members who have resigned from the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC) ‒ as the name of the initiatives makes clear ‒ support the holding of the referendum and a vote for independence. An intense discussion is being conducted among all political forces of the Spanish left to clarify the characterization of the Catalonian nation and its movement for independence. An obvious tendency among the organizations and branches located within Catalonia is to at least support participation in the referendum, which in itself highlights a certain political insensitivity of these same forces outside Catalonia in contending with the notion of the province as a discriminated against nation. Recent developments also reflect an interesting difference between a very large and politically active part of the people of Catalonia who have been mobilizing for independence for years. It appears that one quarter of eligible voters actively participate in protests for independence while another quarter that is in favor of the movement and independence probably stays at home during the protests. The other half of the people of Catalonia would apparently vote against independence, but aside from this passive opposition are not really mobilizing to rally against it. This is in stark contrast to the Scottish independence referendum which witnessed strong mobilization on both sides of the issue. In any event, this broad analysis of political activism in Catalonia over the question of independence indicates an authentic favoring of independence among the politically conscious parts of the Catalonian people. Furthermore, it makes it far more likely that, if the referendum will actually take place, the result will be by far in favor of independence. For this reason, the RCIT not only defends the right of self-determination for the Catalonian people, but also openly supports the demand for an independent state. In our opinion, such a state should be a workers’ republic.

 

  1. The past and the present of the Catalonian people have been characterized by obvious discrimination by the Spanish state. Thus, the position of authentic Marxists should be to unconditionally support the right of self-determination for the Catalonian people (as well as the Basques) including the right to form an independent state. The RCIT maintains that only a Workers’ Republic of Catalonia (and the Basque country) as part of a federation of United Socialist States of Europe will bring the Catalonian and Basque peoples what they demand: Full equal rights, freedom and the end of oppression and discrimination. In the words of the leader of the revolutionary movement in Russia and the revolutionary Soviet Union, V.I. Lenin: “In all their propaganda and agitation—both within parliament and outside it—the Communist parties must consistently expose that constant violation of the equality of nations and of the guaranteed rights of national minorities which is to be seen in all capitalist countries, despite their “democratic” constitutions. It is also necessary, first, constantly to explain that only the Soviet system is capable of ensuring genuine equality of-nations, by uniting first the proletarians and then the whole mass of the working population in the struggle against the bourgeoisie; and, second, that all Communist parties should render direct aid to the revolutionary movements among the dependent and underprivileged nations (for example, Ireland, the American Negroes, etc.) and in the colonies. Without the latter condition, which is particularly important, the struggle against the oppression of dependent nations and colonies, as well as recognition of their right to secede, are but a false signboard, as is evidenced by the parties of the Second International.“ (Collected Works, Vol 31, p.147-148)

 

  1. The oppressive imperialist Spanish regime is threatening the local government of Catalonia, along with activists rallying for the referendum, with legal prosecution. The Spanish state has already mobilized its apparatus to hinder preparations for the referendum and threaten the Catalan people. It is, first and foremost, the duty of all revolutionaries and all authentic democrats to support the demand for independence, to practically participate and to defend both the activists as well as the local Catalonian government (despite its being a capitalist one) against any prosecution by the Spanish state. Instead, it is the absurd and demagogic constitutional monarchy that has to be abolished as it is a remnant of the fascist Franco regime. Real independence for Catalonia from the Spanish state can not be won via bourgeois-democratic means. Furthermore, it is most likely that a newly formed capitalist Catalonian state will drive parts of the working class into poverty and misery, as it will have a weakened and more isolated economy and still be threatened by Spanish hegemony. In addition, we can presume that both the Spanish state and the European Union may very well mobilize their reactionary forces (including the police and military) in an attempt to stop the secession of Catalonia by any means necessary. Such a scenario may make entirely feasible the establishment of a de facto police state / military dictatorship in Catalonia. In the wake of Catalonia, the Basques may also rally for independence and renew the operation of militant, armed groups which would invariably provoke the intervention of Spanish military forces in the Basque country. All such developments would have consequences for the entire Spanish state involving concrete moves towards strengthening and increasing its Bonapartist structure. In any event, it is incumbent to organize the struggle for independence of Catalonia on a proletarian and revolutionary basis.

 

  1. There is an urgent need to form nationwide action and solidarity committees, in order to defend and serve the Catalonian people in their rally for the referendum on October 1. The current repression of the mobilizations for holding the referendum by the Spanish state must be fought against wherever it appears. These action and solidarity committees, backed by the workers and oppressed of Spain, need to prepare for an escalation of the conflict with the Spanish regime. This includes preparing to fight back against all arms of the state’s repression apparatus, including the Spanish army. As history and the example of the Basque people have shown, the willingness to turn such action and solidarity committees into armed militias of the workers and oppressed is crucial. This means the readiness to fight the imperialist Spanish state and its allies of the imperialist European Union by any means. Mass mobilizations, including general strikes in support of the Catalonians, must be organized nationwide. Only the combination of an organized struggle by the Catalonian people supported by the workers and oppressed of Spain, the willingness to organize mass demonstrations culminating in an indefinite general strike, and the readiness to form armed militias can lead to real independence from the oppressive imperialist state of Spain. In order to maintain the goal of real independence and equality, all steps towards the formation of the above mentioned Workers Republic of Catalonia (and Basque country) as part of the United Socialist States of Europe must be taken without delay. This includes armed insurrection and organized socialist revolution not only of the Catalonian and the Spanish workers and oppressed, but of the workers and oppressed of Europe.

 

  1. It is extremely urgent to form of a nationwide Revolutionary Workers’ Party as part of a Revolutionary World Party that is willing to consistently fight for the independence of the Catalonian and Basque peoples as long as they demand independence. Only such a revolutionary workers’ party can successfully lead the struggle by giving it an internationalist orientation.

 

The RCIT says to all class conscious workers in Spain: Mobilize for the referendum on October 1, participate and vote in favor of independence! Prepare a resistance and solidarity campaign with and for the Catalonian people in order to create joint forces against the reactionary regime of Spain that has mobilized to prosecute the organized supporters of the independence campaign! Fight for the abolition of the constitutional monarchy! Prepare to continue the struggle after the referendum, as the results need to be implemented which in turn will lead to massive confrontations with the Spanish state and almost certainly also with the EU. It is extremely urgent to prepare the formation of a revolutionary workers’ party of Spain as part of an international workers’ party to lead this struggle! Prepare for the possibility of a military coup in the event that Catalonia declares independence! Towards this end, create action committees of the workers and oppressed to organize the struggle and be able to transform them into militias to fight back a counter-revolutionary mobilization against the independence movement! Only with these measures can the way forward towards freedom, sovereignty and the end of all oppression and exploitation – the way towards socialism – be achieved!

 

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